Liminal Luminous

The shining threshold
Disability/Chronic Illness

Miminalist in mind

I love the aesthetic of minimalism, and the principles behind it, the idea of keeping space in your life, both physically, mentally and practically. It ties in with the concept of surrender and not-grasping, which is something I try to do, surrender to God and not to grasp onto life, trying to will it into my way of being, rather than going with what is there and what is happening.

Before I moved in with my now-husband I lived in a flat in south London, it was painted white and generally had very little stuff in it. This was partly because up until I bought my flat I had moved a lot, like every year or so, but partly because I don’t like stuff. Except books, books have always been my downfalll, but since I’ve got my Kindle practically all of them have become virtual. I adore the simplicity of ebooks. I still have hard copies of photography books because those seem to need to be held and looked at, I’ve got a few volumes of poetry, another one which doesn’t seem to work as well on the Kindle.

Anyway, I had little stuff.

My husband on the other hand had a house full of stuff. And it was dark with very little light getting in.

wallets

Our approaches to life can be summed up in this picture of our wallets.

Gradually, over time, he did get rid of a lot of stuff, really a lot, he had to so that I would fit in the house, especially as I needed my own desk. But he had a huge amount in the first place. He takes pleasure and comfort in being surrounded by his stuff, where as I find looking at things tiring. All of them shout out to me and snag at my mind. He jokes I would like a white cube, and I really would!

As a photographer I like to have my current work where I can see it, printed out big so I can examine it over time, however this does mean that they are always calling my attention. We live in a small, English mid terrace house. Our bedroom fits the bed and the wardrobe and chest of drawers in it, we both work from home so our second bedroom is our office. And because our office is small my photos are above my desk, when in reality I would like a blank space behind my computer. There isn’t another wall I can use. So my photos are always calling for attention. We often joke when watching American programmes that their walk in closets are bigger than most of our rooms. We are a tiny island and we operate on a very different scale to Americans.

My dreams of becoming an austere minimalist are never going to come to anything. None the less we have decided that we are not going to take out a bigger mortgage and stretch ourselves financially so we can have a bigger house where we can have a room each, so I can have my white cube/study/yoga/prayer/meditation space, with one wall for photography and Gavin can have his den of stuff and a games room. We are going to stay where we are, because it means we will be mortgage free sooner. It means that we don’t have to stress about finding the money for the mortgage each month, which gives me the freedom to be able to do as much or as little work as I am able, because I have a health condition which means I can’t commit to even a part time job where I would have to guarantee I could turn up each and every day I am down to.

Although our house does not look like a white space of cool, we do live in a small house, not as extreme as a Tiny House, but a small space. And so I am minimalist in mind set, even if not in practice.

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